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Monday, 11 December 2017

Damascene And Damascene Style Jewellery.

A lot of jewellery is sold and advertised as damascene which is not actually damascene, hopefully we will clear up a few misconceptions here.

Firstly what actually is damascene?
If we use the standard typical and correct Wikipedia response,  Damascening is the art of inlaying different metals into one another—typically, gold or silver into a darkly oxidized steel background—to produce intricate patterns similar to niello. The English term comes from a perceived resemblance to the rich tapestry patterns of damask silk.

Damascene style jewellery is old, its evolution can be traced back to Damascus, hence the term ' Damascene ' The manufacture of damascene jewellery in recent history is focused in Japan and Spain and is still manufactured there to this date.

Things to note about genuine damascene
The back ground is always very dark, its formed from oxidized , bronze, steel or iron.
In true damascene the designs are etched and silver or gold foil is layered onto the designs. ( Usually 18k or 24K or high quality silver )
Faux Damascene is usually enamel coated for the darkened colours
Faux damascene usually has raised designs with a white colour wash.

Terms For The Buyer To Note:

Toledo Damascene
Whilst Toledo in Spain is actually a manufacturing hub for the production of damascene jewellery, Toledo damascene is often used as a byword for faux damascene. ( If you are after genuine damascene, be careful, ask questions any genuine seller will be more than happy top answer them )

Damascene style.
Does whats it says on the tin, so to speak. Its jewellery often made from where damascene jewellery originates but its not ' genuine or true damascene ' Its a great alternative and very cost effective for those just after the style ( We stock both, true damascene and damascene style jewellery, our faux damascene pieces are described as damascene style or faux damascene. )

Spanish Damascene:
Again this term sums up the product, its damascene jewellery manufactured in Spain.

Amita/ Shakudo Damascene:
It should possibly be referred to as Shakudo damascene, but its usually not. A popular manufacturer in Japan in the 19th century  led to this term been widely accepted in the western world. Both terms are commonly accepted.  The designs usually feature fans, mountains and Japanese style themes.

To help you out there is nothing better than seeing products before you so here are some examples.

This brooch is formed from faux damascene, set with faux pearls. Notice the raised white areas, its still a very pretty brooch, but its not damascene.

This brooch is genuine damascene in a Japanese Shakudo design, featuring a stork or crane bird, ( The crane was a symbol of good luck and prosperity in Asia )

Again Faux Damascene set with pearl and again the white raised detailing is prevalent.

Hope this advice helps, we will hopefully publish some more examples up soon.

Saturday, 25 November 2017

Winter Jewellery Inspirations.

It seems like only the other day I was talking about autumn/fall themed jewellery and here we are with winter at our door already.  Time really does fly! 
Chandelier earrings are currently trending on many fashion runways and ones set with clear rhinestones, have a crisp, clean wintery vibe about them

These vintage earrings are set with a large rhinestone, leading to three symmetrical drops.  The drops are articulated catch the light beautifully as they move.  The earrings have clip on backs so can be worn by anyone.

Although winter is often associated with stark dark colours, bold reds, rich greens and golds.  Icy blues really make me think of the crunch of crisp frost underfoot on an early winters morning.

Both the shape and colouring of this brooch have a wintery feel.  Pale blue rhinestones are set in silver tone metal with light grey tear drop shaped lucite cabochons.

Chunky statement jewellery is back, in a big way! One thing the 50's had was serious bling.  Its a great era to currently select pieces from as not only will you have a piece that is currently on trend there less chance of someone owning the same piece. 

This chunky, expanding Empire made bracelet is set with large faux pearls  along its entire length.  Its a fun piece with a christmasy feel to it, the pearls really remind me of mistletoe berries.

Not one for cooler colours, then embrace the warmer red tones associated with winter/Christmas.

These vintage raised red seed bead cluster earrings have a very Christmasy feel.  The spiky design of the gold caps containing the seed beads give the earrings a Holly leaf and berry vibe.

More winter themed jewellery can be viewed on our dedicated Pinterest board.

Saturday, 21 October 2017

Traditional Scottish Style Modern Jewellery Examples.

I have seen the following pieces been described as vintage, whilst very beautiful and desirable pieces they are not vintage. Both brooches are formed in a traditional Scottish style from polished pewter with a palladium coating.

 The palladium plating applied to the finished brooches makes them less likely to tarnish over time.  This brooch is formed in the traditional Scottish design of a Luckenbooth.  This one is formed from two hearts making it ideal to exchange between lovers.

Both brooch examples are made by Art Pewter Silver Ltd.  The above Luckenbooth brooch is signed DB Scotland to the back. However, not all their pieces are signed.  The company itself was established in 1968 by Hamish Dawson-Bowman so some designs that you will come across will indeed be vintage.

 This is an unsigned piece by Art Pewter Silver Ltd, it is known as the Machair thistle brooch.  It's design is inspired by the rare Machair habitats found in Scotland where wild thistles and heather grow.

The brooches themselves are high quality, the Machair thistle brooch is set with amethyst tinted crystal rhinestones.
All jewellery by Art Pewter Silver Ltd is produced by craftsmen in Scotland so they are great buys if you wish for some traditional styled high quality authentic Scottish Jewellery.
 Don't forget to check out the wide range of Scottish themed jewellery available in the Scottish And Celtic Jewellery section of our shop.

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Halloween Jewellery Treats.

Our favourite holiday of the year, Halloween is on its way so ' treat ' yourself to a some spooky bling and check out some of the superstitions and beliefs of these Halloween symbols.

 These black cat and crescent moon earrings are formed from cloisonne enamel and are also available in red.

Whilst in America and parts of Europe black cats are believed to be unlucky,  in the UK the opposite applies,  black cats are believed to be lucky and one appearing at your doorstop was a sign of impending prosperity. Whilst in Japan black cats are associated with being lucky in love. ( Note to self buy 10 black cats ).


This antique Victorian brooch, is hand carved from a piece of Whitby Jet, an unusual antique spooky talking point.

In the Victorian era mourning jewellery was often worn to mark the passing of a loved one, popularized by queen Victoria after the death of her beloved Albert, Jet became the only accepted court jewellery.  Some of the mourning style pieces have concealed sections contains a lock of the departed's  hair.

This spider web ring complete with dangling spider would make a quirky and fun accessory to a Halloween outfit. 

Nowadays spiders get a pretty unfair deal when it comes to Halloween, being seen as some sort of spooky witches helper.  In medieval times if you saw a spider on Halloween it was actually believed to be the soul of a loved  one watching over you, prior to this they were believed to be fore tellers of prosperity and it was bad luck to kill one.

This wide chunky skull and cross bone bangle would make a great addition to any pirates haul of treasure. 

The skull and cross bone symbol whilst perhaps most commonly associated with pirates, dates back to the late middle ages as a symbol of death. It's still commonly used today as a hazard symbol often used to denote poisonous chemicals.

Thanks for reading through and wishing you all a spooktacular Halloween.

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Moody Blues Are In!

One of the colours creating a stir on catwalks for the Autumn/Fall 2017 season is blue, or rather moody blue. So cast out from your mind nautical, seaside and neon shades of blue and think more along the lines of Midnight, Cobalt and Oxford shades of blue.
A great way to be on trend yet still set your own is to combine vintage and modern to create your own unique look. We have included a few of our favourite pieces from our website in the hopes of inspiring you.

This stunning vintage chunky sterling silver and lapis lazuli gemstone bracelet, combines shades of blue silver and gold creating a bold look. 

The deep blue hues that the gem stone Lapiz lazuli is formed from has been prized for thousands of years, it was once powdered to form the most expensive paint pigment ultramarine.

Although not vintage this 14ct gold and cobalt blue foiled glass necklace, combines one of the other ongoing trends, pearls! The mixture of the pearls and cobalt blue glass helps soften the overall look of the necklace.

Pearls are always a great addition to any jewellery box, classic and timeless they are easily incorporated with any outfitted. They never really go out of fashion.

This retro bracelet is formed from enamel bonded to copper in a crazy/fun flower design dating from the 1960's -  70's.

This vintage, enamel, flower bracelet mixes moody blues with lighter blue shades, forming a vibrant fun bracelet oozing classic retro vibes.

Cloisonne enamel makes up the design of  this lovely brooch, dating from the 1980's.

Another enamel piece but this one is cloisonne enamel forming a large, eye catching vintage butterfly and flower raised design brooch.

We hope we've managed to inspire a few ideas, if moody blues aren't quite for you as you love blue in all of its shades then check out our blue jewellery pinterest page dedicated to blue jewellery of any shade Blue jewellery

Friday, 1 September 2017

New Arrivals For September.

As with all months, September will see some unique new arrivals to the shop. So I'll take this opportunity to highlight some of our new favourites.  This post really will be all about bracelets, as we have luckily been able to source a number of vintage and unusual pieces.

Whilst not vintage the colours displayed in this abalone shell inlaid bangle are simply stunning.  Formed from natural shell slices set on a steel core, creating a unique and vibrant design.

Miracle bracelets can be harder to find than their other types of their jewellery so it was great to come across this Scottish themed charm bracelet.

The bracelet is formed from a chunky curb chain set with five Scottish style charms, including thistles, crosses and bagpipe players. It  may often get missed as a Miracle design as its the back of some of the charms that bear the signature and this can often be fairly indistinct.

This unusual enamel green and white bracelet, recently aquired also deserves a mention, Its a striking little gem of a bracelet.

The bracelet is stamped Stybro to the back, sadly we haven't been able to find much on this designer other than that they may have been based in London, the bracelet is a quality piece so we'll definitely be looking out for more from this company.

One of our favourite styles of jewellery is the space age/ jet set style of jewellery. This stainless steel cuff bangle is a great representation of the style.

Formed from smooth sleek curves in an open cuff design, this modernist,  space age style bangle is a real statement piece.

These were just a few of the bracelets that have been recently added to the shop, please feel free to stop by and have a browse through some of the other designs available in our bracelets and bangle selection.

Thursday, 24 August 2017

Autumn Fall Jewellery

Each time I go out now,  I'm noticing patches of fallen leaves scattered sparsely upon the floor. There's definitely no denying it, Autumn/Fall is on its way.  Whilst I will miss Summer,  Autumn is actually my favourite season. I love the way the nights slowly lengthen and the feelings of cosyness I get from being wrapped up warm inside on colder days.  But my absolute favourite thing about Autumn is the colour.

This vintage brooch by British designer Miracle is reminiscent of the vibrant colours on display in Autumn.

For a few short weeks in Autumn the  natural world treats us to one last explosion of colour before winter arrives and the leaves fall away.  If you want to accessorize to compliment the season you could try reflecting some of the vibrant colours around you.

 This foiled glass bangle showcases some of the richness of colour seen during Autumn.

If you wish to go further than just wearing autumnal colours you can incorporate some leaves or even berry style pieces to your jewellery box.

This elegant brooch by designer Sarah Coventry features autumn colours from its central smoky topaz coloured rhinestone bordered by textured leaves.

  More jewellery inspired by Autumn is available on our Autumn dedicated pinterest board.

Sunday, 20 August 2017

August Birthstones.

August Gemstones/Birthstones.

August is an unusual month in that it has three birthstones associated with it. Peridot, spinel and sardonyx. Peridot a lovely green gemstone is perhaps the most well known one of the three and is also associated with prosperity luck and good fortune.( All great reasons to wear it ! )

This tumbled peridot gemstone chip bracelet is an excellent and affordable way to add some peridot bling to your wardrobe.

Peridot is one of the oldest gemstones,  ancient Egyptians were some of the first people to appreciate its beauty.  The largest is owned by the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C  and is an impressive 319 carats. Amazingly peridot is the only gemstone found inside meteors and is the first gem to be discovered on another planet, in 2003 deposits were discovered on mars!

Sadly not from a meteor, but this vintage sterling silver and peridot modernist style ring is still stunning.

Spinel is the most recent stone associated with birthdays in august, it has been used as a gemstone for centuries. Available in a variety of colours it is often mistaken for other gemstones, perhaps one of the most famous ones is the ' Black Prince's Ruby ' found in the state crown! ( For centuries it was believed to be a ruby, but is actually a substantial uncut spinal of approximately 170 carats ). As a gemstone spinel is believed to have soothing and calming qualities.

A large icy blue spinel is set in an ornate oval open work nine carat gold surround, in this elegant vintage pendant from the early 1970's.

Sardonyx actually is the traditional birthstone for August, it's a type of banded onyx gemstone and is believed to stand for courage and victory, sardonyx is a popular stone used to carve cameos.